Nigeria-oil-unrest 2ndlead workers abducted in Nigeria

Nigeria-oil-unrest 2ndlead workers abducted in Nigeria

Several Chinese workers were taken hostage in the southern Nigerian oil state of Bayelsa, police and industry sources said.

“I can confirm to you that some Chinese have been abducted at Sagbama. I don’t know how many because the details of the incident are still unknown,” Basyelsa state police commissioner Hafiz Ringim told AFP Thursday.

Industry sources said four or five Chinese might have been abducted in the latest hostage-taking to hit Africa’s biggest producer in recent months.

Dozens of foreign workers, mainly in the oil industry, have been kidnapped in the Niger Delta region over the past year.

On Tuesday, an American and a Briton were abducted and a ransom demand of about 13.8 million dollars is said to have been made.

Twenty-four Filipinos who were abducted last Saturday in nearby Delta State were yet to be released as no group has claimed responsibility for the action.

Thursday’s abduction of the Chinese was the second this month in the volatile oil-rich region by separatist groups seeking a larger share of Nigeria’s muilti-billion-dollar oil wealth.

On January 5, unidentified gunmen abducted five Chinese telecoms workers from their residence and ferried them to an unknown location. The workers were employees of Sichuan Telecommunications Company and were working on a project to extend telephone services to rural areas when they were seized.

They were released on Wednesday last week and have since returned to their country.

There has been a sharp rise in the number of kidnappings and attacks on oil installations in the Niger Delta since the beginning of last year.

In 2006 more than 60 foreigners, mostly oil workers, were kidnapped, and dozens of Nigerians were killed by militants and bandits.

The people of the Delta complain that while their region generates 95 percent of Nigeria’s foreign currency earnings, they have little to show for this in terms of development or living standards.

Source: AFp via Yahoo News

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